I live on the third floor of a modified house, and I go out my front door by way of a stairway mounted outside of the home. The other day while leaving with a friend I didn't look down over the edge like I usually do to see what is downstairs. I had recently aquired a new dog, and was caught up talking to it to get it to stay inside and telling my friend about it when we made the turn at the first flight and something set off alarms in my head.
My left hand raised my shirt, the right went around the grip of my USP Compact and started to slide it from the holster as my mind screamed "Gun!" in my head. Before it even cleared the holster though something about the gun jumped out at me as though it was in my hand rather than fifteen or twenty feet away: it had a seam running along the top of it.
That's when the kid (a neighbor kid that runs around with the others in the neighborhood) dropped it, embarrassed to be seen playing with it I think because he is a little older and it made a very un-gun like sound hitting the concrete. My friend had came up short, also seeing it before identifying it, and I slid my USP back into its holster and slide the shirt back down before anyone noticed.
Now the neighbors have had altercations, they have had screaming matches with one another, and the police have came twice that I have seen myself, and others around here have records for B&E and such, and the thing I saw was a gun with no safety orange on it whatsoever.
I walked on to the car, talking quietly to my friend about how stupid it was for a kid in the city to run around with something like that. It spooked me a tad thinking that had the lighting been poor, and had the kid acted more scared or tough (either way could be bad) instead of embarrassed, that whole episode could have turned out much worse.
MOSTLY however, I kicked myself. I had not heard or seen him down around the corner of the house goofing off. Instead I had dropped into not a condition white, but rather had allowed myself to focus on the mundane everday tasks instead of my surroundings, something that is very rare for me, in fact I am probably more aware than just about anyone around me most of the time. Its hard for me not to be anymore because of life experiences.
So anyway, I just post as a reminder to be constantly vigilant not only for that bad guy lurking in the poison ivy (I don't know why, but that brought a grin to my face) or the unforseen problem that could become a tragedy if one doesn't identify the whole situation soon enough. Always scan 360 degrees - sometimes you may see something interesting that you would have missed out on that isn't important, and you may just save someone else's life.
It seems that every now and then we all slip into condition white. At least you didn't go into condition black but went to red. Just count it a blessing that this came out to be nothing and you are alive and well to tell about it.:hand10:Thanks for the reminder.
.....and that the neighborhood kid, who was just playing with a toy, lived to play another day. :icon_neutral:
Originally Posted by Reborn
Originally Posted by David in FL
Very true and well said.:hand10:
Yes, we all "slip in to condition white", but that should only be when we are sleeping. I sleep 24/7 it seems like, and my mother and wife will both confirm that. :smile:
I just wanted to point out that it seems you may have been premature in producing your weapon. What if the one with the gun was an undercover LEO, about to serve a warrant with other members of his squad? You, an unidentified non-LEO would've had a most interesting day to say the least.
I just want to caution you, and others, that producing a weapon, while oftentimes needed, can be dangerous to your health too. If it were me I' d have been inclined to seek cover, or at least concealment, and that most likely would've been back with Fido in your home.
In short, I would not be walking towards the possible felon, but rather looking to vacate the area. This is just something to keep in mind, and "food for thought". If you are an LEO then I can see you going towards danger, but even then I urge you to take the least dangerous avenue if you can.
I am an LEO and I take the least dangerous avenue I can so that I can go home at the end of shift.
Glad you didn't shoot the neighbor kid playing with his toy gun, and be careful next time you walk past the toy isle at your local store, there could be lots of kids with toy guns. :gah:
Funny wolf... Really funny. :(
BikerRN: I was on an exposed metal set of stairs with no cover or concealment at all. The door was locked and up a flight, the person at the bottom, alone. Might be the wrong answer, but hey my thought process is ingrained - violence of action. It can even prevent harming someone if you act the part sometimes. I literally had no place to go, which is why I usually look down from the door before leaving. I think he may have been on the front porch and hopped down and around the corner as I decended the first flight of stairs. In other words there wasn't anything I could do about it other than be prepared - and I didn't quite get to present, the slide still being in the holster. It was that clsoe though.
Close call alright. Glad your thinking was clear enough and fast enough that the kid only ended up embarrassed. The unexpected will always happen but your reactions were good enough that nobody got hurt, can't ask for more than that. I'm sure it shook you up some though, heh?
Yeah it did. Although, I have to say twice in the last week I have had an adrinaline dump and twice something I picked up from PDTV worked. It was in the action plan part with Mr. Ayoob where he showed how to push your hands together to bleed off some of the excess and get rid of the trimmors. Worked both times.
I've thought back on it and honestly I have learned something. My method of carry that day was slow. I had a IWB at 3 o'clock and it was under a t-shirt, a button up shirt that wasn't buttoned, with a jacket over top. Even though I have practiced this draw it is slow. If it had been a actual BG I would have been in trouble.
Being "aware" is one thing, being always on the "alert " in entirely another. Relax some. What if it had been an adult with a gun ??? and they were a CCL who had just seen an armed person entering the downstairs. What if they were a plain clothes policeman ? Just because they may have a gun, does not mean that they are a threat.
If it had been a Warrant Officer (wear plain clothes) trying to see if someone there had seen some guy across the street they were looking for... or he had just "run that way towards your house" while they were looking for him to arrest him, and you reached back like that. He would have likely shot you..... and been justified.
Does a LEO need or have to ID themselves first before they shoot, or can they just shoot and clean up the mess latter.
Originally Posted by Eagleks
Eagleks - on the same point, as someone who has been in situations where bad things happen, if you wait that long you can be shot by a threat because you don't ask. Also, I would like to remind you that no one could SEE the firearm. Justified would be hard to go with if any of us or a LEO shoots someone and there is nothing there, or its a hankerchief. I think I understand what you are saying, but I feel that my actions were perfectly within my rights, were good reactions to what I knew and could be expected to know as the situation came about. If you wait for a man with a knife to blatantly announce his intentions, then he has already closed in and became a threat... Now I am not saying anything about shooting in this - just the preparation and immediate focus on the possible threat.
Why would you advocate trying to communicate when you are so close to a armed person without moving tactically first? In this situation there was absolutely nothing to provide cover or even concealment - well other than my friend which would have provided some cover and did against my arm's movement - but if waiting that long for the weapon to come up and intentions to be made absolutely clear then its too late.
Also, situationally, there are almost no plainclothe's police in my town - its about 40k and we only have 7 duty officers on duty during rougher nights, and all detectives wear department shirts nearly 90% of the time. Not that it matters much, as there is always the possibility that I understand of a off duty LEO, or some other person who is within their rights, responsabilities, etc to be armed and maybe in that same place with me.
I am sorry, not trying to be argumentative, but I know too many people who say that people like me are paraniod - and none of them have ever had that moment of realizing that someone was actively trying to kill them. I am a little touchy about it, and I want to say that I don't mean to be snippy in this reply, just trying to point out my perspective as I can't quite grasp with the situation why one wouldn't be preparing a response and trying to clairify to ensure that the situation is clear (something I will remind everone that it never is at the time of any split second decision made in our lives).
Paladin - I think you did good.
Not to stir things up, but it seems like the responses have all been based on hindsite.
You stepped around a corner, saw an unidentified individual with a drawn gun.
At best you have a fraction of a second to respond.
You responded quickly as I believe you need to in such a situation.
The best part is that you perceived that there was actually no threat and you stood down.
If we had read your story in the news but it ended with "and the armed home owner was shot before he could draw his gun", we would be saying that hesitation can get you killed.
We all know the dangers of such a situation.
You were there and reacted - we are just playing arm chair quarterback.
You done good!
I've worked in the system, taken a lot of weapons away from people, talked people out of weapons they had at someone's head, and been shot at... and shot back. So, I've been there ... many times.
Not arguing, just trying to point out some things to consider. ATF, FBI, DEA, SS, OSI and others all carry guns while plain clothes... not just your local Police. No one knows who might be in the town, trying to blend in .... or stay out of sight.... vs who's trying to catch them. Many 'safe' houses, are set up in small towns all over our state by BG's to hide someone on the run.
What if they are another CCL holder ..... ??
I would respectfully suggest, that if they have a gun... doesn't necessarily mean they are a threat. Of course, you also want to assess quickly whether they are or aren't a threat too. Just trying to say... not to be too reactive.
Not trying to say you were wrong, I wasn't there... and my reaction may have been exactly the same... until I knew it was NOT a threat. Been there, done that. And, that's a fair reaction. I'm just trying to also give you some things to think about at the same time....